Questions Employers Always Ask

By: Daena De Souza

Questions Employers always ask- By Daena De Souza,

Job interviews can be a nerve wrecking procedure; however the key to a successful interview is preparation. This is your opportunity to make a great first impression. Hey, there is no guarantee in getting the job, but a great first impression may afford you a second interview or even consideration for another position. So research the company, be prepared and relax, you have nothing to loose!

Interviews normally begin with the employer providing an outline of the company and the job position. Listen attentively; feel free to write brief notes or questions you may have and present these after the introduction. A clear understanding of the company can help you structure quality questions for later in the interview. It is a good idea to conduct a thorough search of the organization ranging from industry trends, competition and recent company developments. Creating an updated company profile would allow you to speak knowledgably and confidently about the organization. So DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Interviewers peruse your resume, so be prepared to answer any aspect that can be interpreted as negative in a positive manner.

For those of you who wish to have a quick course in interview FAQs, I have compiled a list of questions employers are guaranteed to ask.

What can you tell us about yourself?

The interviewer is not interested in your personal information. Provide information on your professional achievements, education and career goals. If you desire to mention your extra curricular activities, disclose those that may strengthen your application such as community service, rotary club membership or anything that the company may favor.

Why do you wish to work for this organization?

If your main reason for applying is the salary, then honesty may not be the best policy here. An employer wishes to know that the candidate desires to add value to the organization,is interested in company growth and appreciates its culture and philosophy. This may be a good opportunity to express what you can do for the organization and identify how this may be a mutually beneficial relationship.

Why did you leave your last job?

The employer wants to ensure that the reasons were positive. Let them know you are interested in your growth and development and the move was an important career decision. Do not disclose unnecessary negative information.

How would your co-workers or past employer describe you?

Try not to be arrogant and boast about so many of your good qualities. Be sincere and humble. Say "I would hope they found me helpful and supportive as I have done x on many occasions". Use examples to support your claim and keep it believable. Remember the interviewer may call your last employer so you want your answers to match up.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

The employer is attempting to gauge your ambitions and career goals. Are you one to remain stagnant? No, so give an answer that reflects what your next educational goal may be or the key moves you intend to make to develop your career and of course the organization. Don't forget it is not just about you, its what you can do for the organization also. No company wants to invest in an employee who cannot commit for at least 3 years.

What are your salary expectations?

Employers love to ask this. Your answer can reflect how you value yourself and whether you have realistic expectations. Employers may also use this to gauge what salary range they should pay, especially in instances where compensation depends on qualifications. Your best bet is to research the job by enquiring what similar companies pay for that position. If it is difficult to obtain this information, you can also say "Your organization is a leader in the industry and I am confident your salaries are competitively priced". However, it is best to give an answer, at least what you expect or provide an average of at least 25% more than your last salary.

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